…blames woes of industrialists in the South East on high cost of production and unavailability of gas
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kotec Group of Companies, Nnewi, Anambra State Chief Dr Chika Emenike has blamed woes of industrialists in the South East on high cost of production and unavailability of gas pipeline in the zone to supplement power generation.
Emelike disclosed this in Nnewi on his return from Imo State University, Owerri where he was conferred with Honourary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration during the 8th convocation ceremony of the University.
He said the Honourary Doctorate Degree award came to him as a surprise, adding that he never lobbied for it.
“I thank God for the event. Sometimes what people look for with all their energies and resources can be given to them by God Himself. God blesses whoever he wants to bless.
“The Vice Chancellor of the Imo State University, Prof U.U.Chukwumaeze, the committee and even Governor Hope Uzodima did not know me personally before the award. And because they were searching for the real people, those who deserve to be honoured, they chose me among the four personalities honoured that day
“The Governor in a dinner that night said the people given the honour were those who deserved it, that it was given on merit.
“He cited one or two things I have done in society to help people, the way I help to develop Imo and Anambra States. He said that all these things were considered before I was selected for the honour.
” I’m very grateful to them. I also sincerely thank the CEO of Innoson Group of Companies, Chief Dr Innocent Chukwuma who is the Pro-Chancellor of the Imo State University. He was instrumental to the honour given to me.
“After receiving a call from the committee for my selection, he called to inform me about the honour. That was when I knew what transpired. I’m grateful to him
“All I can say is that whatever you are doing that is good, continue to do it. People must locate you.
“I don’t make a noise when I affect people’s lives positively. I don’t like to blow my trumpet because those things are done for God who has enabled me to be what I’m today.
“Some people see me even outside the country and draw my attention to what I did for them which I have even forgotten.
“I received a National Productive Order of Merit last year by President Muhammadu Buhari. My people and my State celebrated it. It’s a big honour to me and my local government area in Imo State.
“I dedicate this Honourary Doctorate Degree award from Imo State University to my family and those who are impacting society positively without making a noise.
Dr Emenike whose company produces Tummy Tummy instant noodles in Nnewi, Anambra State said that industrial ventures in the South East had sufferred a setback for about eight years now due to the absence of the necessary enablers for them to thrive.
He said that the situation had frustrated him to bring in pieces of machinery he had bought from overseas to install for production expansion.
“We can’t bring in the machines now because of the situation of things. We are just struggling to remain afloat.
“We struggle to keep our staff and for our products to remain in the market. It’s not easy to run a factory in this country now, particularly in the South East given the situation on ground. Raw materials are not easy to source and that leads to high cost of production.
“Some consumers now patronize cheap products even if it will affect their health. But we are resolute not to compromise our quality standard no matter the circumstance.
“Now, the price of diesel is on tree top and we have determined to remain in production, though not in full because we know that consumers have less purchasing power. We, however, forge ahead to maintain our workers so that those we employed will not stop work to go back to streets to cause trouble, ” Dr Emenike said.
He also said that governement should view critically high exchange rate as it affects local investors.
He recalled that way back in 2014 the exchange rate, according to him, was N180 to N190 to $1 which he said had risen above N763 per dollar currently.
“But some investors in this country are getting it at between N420 and N460 per dollar, the official rate, and many others find it difficult to get it at that rate. Even some foreign investors are getting it at a cheaper rate than the local investors.
“This is frustrating and those people who get it at a cheaper rate can import even items local investors are not allowed to import, ” he said.
He appealed to the Federal Government to extend industrial gas pipeline to the South East industrial area. He wondered why industrial gas pipeline from the South would bypass the entire South East to get to Lagos, Ota, Kano, Kaduna, among other industrial areas in the North whereas the South East industrial clusters remained in perpetual power problem.